AMARILLO, TX – Costly third-period penalties doomed the Amarillo Bulls on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Bulls surrendered a two-goal lead with two power play goals, part of three in the game, and dropped a 4-3 decision in a shootout to the Topeka RoadRunners.
It was the Bulls second time in their last three games where they went past regulation and didn’t get the victory. The single point Amarillo did get kept their South Division lead at two points after the Texas Tornado won their game in Corpus Christi.
The Bulls got goals in the first 40 minutes off the sticks of Joe Grabowski, Tyler Deresky and Brady Ferson. Grabowski also earned an assist in the game with both points coming in the second period. Paul Berrafato took the loss in goal.
It was a wild start to the game between the two teams that featured 52 minutes in penalties with several skirmishes after the whistle and two fights. The Bulls scored the only goal of the first period when Tyler Deresky tipped home a pass from Mike Davis at 9:47. John Rey also earned an assist on the goal. Amarillo outshot Topeka 8-7.
The RoadRunners tied the game up in the first 30 seconds of the middle stanza, but after that it was all Bulls. Brady Ferguson made it 2-1 when his backhand shot eluded goaltender Spencer Viele. Joe Grabowski and Tyler Rostenkowski added assists on the goal. Just before the end of the period, Joe Grabowski gave Amarillo a two goal lead when converted a rebound in front of the net from Ryan Cole and TJ Sarcona. The Bulls outshot and out-worked the RoadRunners 15-5 in the period.
Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams said Joe Grabowski has been a vocal leader for the team.
“He’s a delight to have and will be a great college player at Princeton in a couple of years,” said Williams. “Hopefully he can continue that role and play tough, smart hockey for us.”
In the third period the Bulls had several opportunities to increase their lead via the power play, including a 5-on-3, but couldn’t punch one past goaltender Spencer Viele. Topeka narrowed the deficit to one goal early in the third period and then tied the game with just over three minutes remaining. Tyler Deresky nearly won it for the Bulls in the dying seconds but his shot was blocked away by the goaltender.
Neither team could score in overtime, and it was Topeka that was able to convert three attempts in the shootout, while the Bulls managed just one.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 37-25 including 14-12 over the final 25 minutes. There were 15 total power plays in the game, with Topeka going 3 for 7 and Bulls were 0 for 8.
The two South Division rivals, Topeka and Amarillo, will meet again tomorrow (Saturday) night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Face off is at 7 pm. It’s Elite MMA and Fitness Night and fans can drop by their business at SW 45th near Bell to get free Child’s Tickets by signing an Anti-Bullying Banner. Game tickets can be purchased at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and online at www.panhandletickets.com. For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.